In a two part series Emma Jones looks at ways you can make money online. In this first part, she offers a list of 10 ways to make more money from your own site. Part two will look at the art of making money from someone else’s site. Show me the money!
Your home on the web
There’s a growing number of ways to make money from your own site. This is my top 10 listing. Are you tapping in to all of them?
1. Straight sales
The most obvious way to make money online is by selling a product/service, just like these people have done:
Ed Molyneux sells an online accountancy service from his site FreeAgent Central, Alison Rothwell sells organic clothes for children at ArabellaMiller.co.uk, and Sarah Watson and Anneli Gascoyne sell luxury shower curtains and towels at balineum.co.uk. The secret they’ve all discovered is to have a good product, attract lots of people to the site and make it easy for them to buy. Give great customer service and watch your online visitors flourish and return.
2. Ad banners
Deal with advertisers direct and offer buttons and space on your site. The more niche your audience, the more likely you are to attract advertisers. The information you’ll need to provide includes the number of unique visitors, the number of impressions, the duration of each visit, and visitor demographics. Write these up in a basic rate card and send it off to corporate marketing departments and media buying agencies.
This tool from Google does the advertising work for you in that it places relevant ads on your site and earns you money. You can customise the appearance of the ads so they sit well with the style of your site. Alex Johnson of www.shedworking.co.uk uses and likes AdSense but has this to say: “Unless you get a decent number of visitors a day, then I don’t think it’s worth putting it on. I get over 1,000 uniques and my uneducated guess is that any fewer than this and you won’t be making more than a few pence.”
If you get more than this, you can start making yourself a few pounds.
4. Text link ads
These are the ads that, as the name implies, offer direct click-throughs from text on your site. You can make money by submitting your site to Text Link Ads to be approved and then uploading ad code. You can choose to approve or deny any text link ads. Once that’s done, you start making money.
5. Pay per post
If you’re a blogger and want to get paid for your posts, you can with services like payperpost.com. Some doubt the ethical stance of paying a blogger to write something about a product but there’s no doubt it earns money for the blogger! To take it to a next level, why not turn your blog into a book.
6. Affiliate schemes
Sign up to affiliate programmes like the Amazon Associates Program, “one of the largest and most successful online affiliate programs, with over 900,000 members joining worldwide. If you are a Web site owner, an Amazon seller, or a Web developer, you can start earning money today and earn up to 10 percent in referral fees.” The programme works by driving traffic to Amazon.co.uk through specially formatted links. You earn referral fees on revenue generated through those links. Monthly cheques come from Amazon and it’s easy and free to join.
Someone who’s a pro at making money from affiliate schemes is John Williams of www.freestylesuccess.com . He recommends hosting companies, e-newsletter systems and books and earns a commission each time someone buys based on his recommendation. Easy money!
7. Sponsored features
This could include a host of options. Approach advertisers with suggestions of a sponsored e-book, podcast, webchat or survey. These applications can be added to your site at low cost yet generate good revenue.
8. Expert help
Offer your expertise by using low cost technology platforms that charge people to log on and watch/listen. This could be through:
Teleclasses – Karen Skidmore is an expert on teleclasses and hosts a good number of them. Check out one we profiled here and Karen’s dedicated Teleclass forum website here.
GoToWebinar – deliver a presentation to potentially thousands of paying customers via this product from Citrix Online. Click here to see a piece we wrote on this and to download a free paper on how to increase sales using this low cost piece of kit.
Skype Prime – use Skype Prime to offer your expert advice and charge for it. I don’t think this application has reached anywhere near its full potential – it’s a great tool for home business owners who are experts in their field and can now offer advice that’s charged for, yet without having to leave home.
9. Online expo
Host an event online and charge your virtual exhibitors. After a bit of digging we haven’t found any companies who provide the technology to make this happen but we’ll dig a little more and do a follow-up piece, showing how you could make an online expo an essential part of your annual earnings.
10. Please donate
If you’d rather just ask for a small donation from your visitors, this is possible too. One example I particularly like is from Robert Pugh. He hosts the ebay bulletin and its online request: http://ebaybulletin.blogspot.com/
“If you enjoy reading the eBay Bulletin, why not buy me a coffee. It would keep me awake longer!” The request links straight through to Paypal and we’d love to know just how many coffees Rob has bought on the back of it!
Zzzzz to £££££
These are all ways of making money online that won’t take up too much of your time or budget. One word of warning. Don’t go overboard on the ad banners, buttons and paid-for links. Sites that have flashing banners here and pop-ups there can be distracting and put people off.
But get this online earning stuff right and you’ll be making money whilst you sleep!
Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation, the home business website, and author of Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home